Way back in 2016, we noted that Pokemon Go and Niantic could skip generations to focus on whatever was most relevant on Nintendo consoles. While Niantic started putting some new generation ‘mon in the game out of order as early as 2018, the big thrill has always been on starters and features. We knew there was going to be a Paldea event this month for September’s Scarlet and Violet DLC, but dropping the starters makes it seem as if Galar’s been left in the dust.
Today in Massively on the Go, we’ll look over what Adventures Abound season is all about, plus September’s events. We may be going to a new region, but we’re seeing some of the same old problems, and once again, our trusty leaker is proving to be accurate.
— G47IX (@g47ix) August 30, 2023
Let’s start with PvP, as the schedule and changes reveal some interesting things about this season. First are the overall move additions and changes. While a lot of this has to do with PvP/Rocket Battles, which we don’t usually cover in-depth, we’re expecting some effect the raiding/gym scene (our gym defense guide looks largely unaffected, though Milotic may be able to at least be substituted for Vaporeon).
As you can see from the second infograph above, a lot of pokemon got new moves, but so far, only Excadrill seems to have gotten a boost. Weavile might see improvement with Triple Axel, but I’ll let the number crunchers confirm that.
Then we have the usual issue with copy-editing/miscommunications. You’ll noticed 4x stardust rewards sprinkled throughout the season, roughly twice a month, but the very first one in October (6th-13th) has an October 7th-8th Battle Weekend giving a 3x stardust bonus to wins, neither including the end-of-set ‘dust rewards. (We’ve contacted PR for clarification here.)
That being said, be on the lookout for the 4x stardust events from September 15th-22nd, October 6th-13th, October 27th-November 3rd, and November 17th-December 1st (technically there’s an end period mid-way during the last date range, but immediately when the cups are rotated, the bonus restarts anyway). While the frequency compared to last season is the same, last season also gave a 3x bonus. Whether this is a typo or intentional remains to be seen.
Next, let’s talk about overall season changes, starting with bonuses. This season focuses on friendship, which is a bit odd to me even if we ignore how Niantic’s actually driven some players (including a vocal MOP reader) away from the game. First is the potential typo/nerf, as players can currently send 100 gifts per day, capped by the fact that you can receive that many only from spinning Pokestops in a day. We think this is supposed to be hold 40 gifts, but we’ve reached out to PR for confirmation.
8/31 Update: While PR again didn’t reply, the updated website indicates that, as we thought, the bonus is 40 gifts can be held during the event. We are leaving the above image, however, to document the error.
It’s also odd that the Friendship bonus xp has increased, as unless something changes, that would affect only new players. While I did add a few people for Go Fest, most people I know don’t add others unless they’re real-world friends, part of a community they’ve joined, or a quest directs them to add someone (and usually interaction drops off almost immediately). There are some big xp and stardust bonuses this season, so I am wondering if some of the rumors about the level cap increase by the end of the year could be true. Keep that idea in the back of your mind through the season as it could also be related a new mechanic, if Niantic decides to add something (Terastallizing when, guys?).
Then there’s the Research Breakthrough ‘mon. Sableye, Furfrou, and Goomy are back from last season. Bagon is kind of a sore spot, as it hadn’t had access to its best move, Outrage, since 2021, and though brought back for this year’s Go Fest, Niantic screwed up its availability and has yet to comment on it, let alone correct it. Galarian Farfecth’d is the only new and vaguely interesting ‘mon outside of Sableye, Bagon, and Larvitar (only for Mega evolution if you want a good/shiny one still) seems in poor taste, as it’s a reminder that Galar will be the only Gen missing its starters now. Remember, we used to get legendaries, so this feature’s really fallen.
This season’s eggs aren’t looking much better, outside of the new Paldea pokés that’ll appear in them September 15th. The “and more” isn’t inspiring confidence, especially for Adventure Sync egg rewards giving out what at this point are largely common pokemon: Goomy is set to appear more in the wild, we’ve had a lot of Snorlax lately so Munchlax is a downgrade (though it does have a discount on unlocking its second charge attack), and all but Jangmo-O and Rockruff have been featured heavily in recent events, including Go Fest. Again, these aren’t motivating features for current players, let alone new ones.
Finally, remember how every weekend we had Shadow Articuno last season? As predicted, this season, we’ll have Shadow Zapdos out every weekend. It is more useful than Shadow Articuno, making the top 10 counters list against a giant like Mega Kyogre (if you cut out the Mega’d counters), but it’ll mostly be for collectors, as you’ll have better options to raid this season that fill that same usefulness slot.
September, at least, is looking more interesting once you get over the fact that Niantic has already seemingly given up on last month’s new “monthly bonus” feature.
First let’s talk raids. While Kartana and Celesteela are repeats, Kartana is a great pokemon, often topping the charts. It’s a cut above Shadow Zapdos in most cases, easier to get a good one, and far less expensive to invest in. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, this will mark the first time for widespread access to it without needing the now-deeply-nerfed Remote Raid Passes. Celesteela is, uh, not a good ‘mon, and as neither is getting its shiny form (unless this is another copyediting error), players in the Northern Hemisphere should hope the September 8th-16th note about the “rare” region shifting is more common. Otherwise, your raiding options are Unowns for 1-star raids or Bombirdier (a new ‘mon appearing only in raids which we’ll discuss below), Machamp, Metagross (more for Pyschic use since it’ll lack Meteor Mash), Turtonator, or Camerupt (which is largely a useless ‘mon) for 3-star raids.
September 16th-23rd brings back Genesect with its Burning Drive, which isn’t the most useful ‘mon by default, but it is useful if you switch out its event move to make it either a Bug or Steel attacker.
Finally, we have the questionable return of the Legendary Beasts, which have largely been replaced, from September 23rd-October 6th. All three have been largely left in the dust by other pokemon, often Community Day options, unless you’re using their Shadow variants, which very few people have the candy, dust, and/or good one to invest in. Luckily, during both Genesect and the Beasts’ run, you can also raid Mega Gardevoir, which is a fairly useful Mega. In all, September is pretty front-loaded for quality raids, but at least there are decent soloable raid options.
In terms of events, the first one is Classic Community Day: Charmander on September 2nd. For those keeping track at home, yes, this is the third time it’s been featured, with this round giving out both of its past CD moves (fast attack Dragon Breath and charged attack Blast Burn). For those lacking a good one (especially as, for Mega Purposes, you may want one focused on Dragon attacks and one at least on Fire attacks), it’s nice, but it’s also a heavily promoted ‘mon that most veterans are beyond sick of at this point. At least it’ll be a 3x stardust event with Charmander and Charizard showcases to keep vets entertained.
From September 5th-10th, we’ll have our Paldean Adventure Event. Mostly, this is just the release of some new pokemon that won’t foreseeably affect the raiding/gym meta but maybe the PvP meta. We’re not seeing any new mechanics, either – just a quest to choose your starter, get a shiny piggy, and enter some new showcases.
The big reveal, though, is the 4x xp and stardust gained from catching pokemon during this event. Primal Groudon is the best option for most people, especially in the Northern Hemisphere on Day 1, as it generates extra candy for two-thirds of the starters, it has half the event spawns, boosts Fire damage against Kartana in raids and generates extra XL candy for it, plus it will give extra (XL) candy and xp during the Wooper spotlight hour. For this reason, I’m suggesting that collectors and min/maxers perhaps choose Quaxly as their starter, as Water types tend to be rarer and don’t have Megas that overlap with other quality type options.
Right after that, from September 10th-15th, is the Ultra Unlock: Paldea Event, which is essentially a continuation of the previous one, 4x xp/dust bonus and all. The difference is that there is a $5 Pawmi-centered research associated with the release of it, the bug Nymble, Flying/Dark Bombirdier (in raids only), and Dragon/Ice Frigibax. While most of these won’t affect the raid scene, the last one is interesting, as initial analysis has Frigi’s final form, Baxcalibur, potentially coming out as a new strong Ice type, not a Dragon, thanks to the currently datamined Ice moves its gotten. However, being a Pseudo-legendary means it’ll be rare and eventually get a Community Day further down the line.
In terms of Megas, Primal Groudon still looks quite good. An argument could be made for Primal Kyogre too, as now you’re generating more xp/candy for new ‘mon Pawmi and Nymble plus Quaxly. Mega Abomasnow or Mega Charizard X lets you get Frigibax plus one of the starters’ extra candy, but Mega Ampharos lets you get two of the three new wild spawns that’ll cost 125 candy to fully evolve, though Frigibax is marked as a rare.
Oddly, during the event, there is the Oddish Research Day the leaker noted, being held on September 17th from 2 to 5 p.m. An Oddish showcase will running the same day at the same hours. At least for that day, players may want to use Mega Groudon again.
— Miko🐽 (@MikoGraphicsPE) September 8, 2023
9/8 Update: And now we have official details of the Oddish Research Day. As usual, this means you’ll need to spin Pokestops for quests that reward Oddish with increased shiny odds, but also the chance of your Oddish coming with a Sunstone to evolve it into Bellossom. Sadly, there’s no special move for this event, but keeping with the massive amount of stardust given out lately, there are three wild pokemon being featured that will award extra stardust: Paras, Foongus, and Shroomish. Even if you’re good on the Oddish family, at least the extra stardust (and XP if you bring out a Grass-buffing Mega/Primal) should make this event worthwhile.
Speaking of leaks, the leaker also predicted the Psychic Spectacular Event’s return, running from September 20th-24th. Historically, there’s not a lot of consistency with this event outside of obviously featuring Pyschic pokemon, but it is the third time in a row Niantic is placing it in September. The leak indicates Solosis, a mostly useless pokemon, will be featured for its shiny release.
9/11 Update: It’s leaks on leaks with this event, as Niantic had originally posted the above infograph only to take it down. While things may change, my feeling is they probably won’t, as the above looks pretty par the course. Nothing particularly stands out as “great” compared to the most recent events, though players may want to focus on Wobbuffet for gym defender (candy); Metang for usefulness, candy, and to save for bonus candy or stardust events; Galarian Slowpoke if they need it for the December Community Day Round-up; Slowpoke, Abra, Meditite, and Ralts for their Megas (remember, male Ralts has a future Mega!).
We have the Curveball XP mechanic returning, and I half wonder if it’ll be attached with increasing bonuses for Nice/Great/Excellent throws. If that occurs, Wild Abra, Slowpoke, Drowzee, Meditite, and (for some people) Gothita are the easiest to get Excellent curveballs on. I know many people will shiny hunt for the new Solosis shiny, but it’s always been tricky for me. Plus, the throw bonus goes up even more if you remember to have a Psychic Mega prepared, preferably at Mega Level 3, but Level 2 is fine as well.
For Mega pokemon use, while Mega Rayquaza would be great, I’m not sure if it’s working with Psychic candy generation yet, but the Help page seems to indicate it’s not. Even then, only people who have been evolving them everyday since their local (not Global) Go Fests would be able to reach Mega Level 3 by the time the event starts or even ends. For the rest of us, basically anything the Field Research section shows as Megas is useable, though Mega Alakazam being a mono-type makes it the least useful. Also add in Mega Lati@s, as both are Dragon/Psychic types so they could be quite useful depending on your local weather. Mega Slowbro does boost XL candy generation for Suicune in raids, but otherwise, raiders don’t have any good overlap with the bulk of the spawns and wide variety of raid options, of which I’d mostly focus on Genesect; try to use all your Daily Passes on those, as the Legendary Beasts are mostly outclassed.
9/12 Update: And the early leak was revealed unchanged today.
Similarly, the leak about the September 23rd Grubbin Community Day also seems true, as noted by Niantic’s calendar’s mention of showcases for it and its final form, Vikavolt, being held that day. We still don’t know what the event move or bonuses will be though, but it’s a useful pokemon already, especially for Hoopa Unbound.
9/4 Update: To no one’s surprised, the leaked Grubbin Community Day has been made official. Interestingly, the event move, fast attack Volt Switch, will be available not just for final form Vikavolt, but for mid-evolution Charjabug too. Many players have noted the above infograph mentions a 3x xp bonus, but the website says it’s 3x stardust. We’ll update this information as we learn more. As for usefulness, it doesn’t help either form become useful in raids (quite the opposite, actually), but Charjabug becomes more useful in Great League for you PvP fans out there.
At the end of the month we’ll have the Out to Play Event from September 27th to October 2nd. This is a new event we have no information on. It should be noted, however, there there will be Hisuian and Kanto Growlithe showcases running from September 27th-29th, then again from September 29th-October 2nd.
9/20 Update: We now have official details on the event. It’s giving vibes like the July Route release event, Blaze New Trails: bonuses to walking your buddy on routes while getting bonuses to complete them. Most of what’s discussed as “improvements” on the blog, such as “more” routes available and a lower level to create them, aren’t that new. They’re just as problematic as when they were first revealed, just more available now and half as buggy. More Kecleons being available is nice for those who still need it for quests or collecting, and Hisuian Growlithe is a bonus, but the event is really more of a Niantic pushing for more route testing than anything.
What would be more interesting would be if the datamined Party Play mode was released during the event. The details are scant, but at the least, it would allow groups of four players to see each other on the map, which isn’t anything in terms of function but would make the screen more fun and would help me find my friends who wander off from time-to-time.
There’s also the leaker’s predicted Azurill Hatch Day on September 30th. We’ll update this section as we learn more about these events, though the Azurill Hatch event (as three hours doesn’t equal a day) is very much a cash grab on a pokemon that’s been out a very long time and has been featured many times in the past. Unless it’s a big improvement on the Riolu Hatch formula, which had no bonuses outside of hatching, it’s an event most players who aren’t big on spending money on gamble box “keys” can largely skip.
9/20 Update: As predicted above, Niantic has announced the details of the above Hatch Day event, which are the same as the Riolu event. Aside from a free Super Incubator, the event is mostly skippable unless you want to gamble with your egg candy (being doubled) or just want to cash in on some big eggs being worth double stardust. While the Riolu event worked on a free level as well since it’s a desirable pokemon, Azurill only really has value to new or unlucky collectors/pvpers. It’s been far too readily available for far too long to have much value to most players at this point, so hatching good eggs for Azurill 2k eggs to clog up your space is not exactly ideal.
And finally, we have Spotlight Hours. The first three are all related to the Paldea theme. While none of the bonuses does any neat overlapping that we know of, I will remind readers that the leaker did predict a Wooper Community Day for both variants in November. Unless Niantic surprises us with Paldean Wooper before September 5th, the Spotlight hour does still help give players an opportunity to snag a good Johto Wooper. Mankey and Girafarig both get Paldea evolutions, though only Mankey’s is really causing any kind of hype, as we’ve mentioned its usefulness several times when covering Scarlet and Violet raids. Finally, Growlithe’s hour can help players get a good Kanto puppy to enter in the showcases we mentioned occurring the days following this spotlight hour.
While this is admittedly another weak Generation release in terms of features, more may be coming in the months ahead. We were promised a new Masterball as part of this season, and there were claims of “blockbuster” features coming before the end of the year. Of course, Niantic always overhypes and superbly underdelivers, but we can talk about that elsewhere.
As always, we’ll update this article through out the month as more and more information is dripfed to us. Stay safe out there, trainers!